As I watched this weeks show, I realized that all America sees is a particular scene—not the full evening or day of a particular event. The fact is that things are occurring before and after every scene that you never see that may change your opinion of a person.
An example of seeing a particular scene and NOT the full event is when you hear Alexis say, “No, I still do it all, I make the kids lunch, give them baths, pick them up from school,” and so on. THIS IS NOT THE WHOLE TRUTH. When Alexis works at Fox 5, she gets up at 5am to work. At that time I get the kids up, get them ready for school, feed them breakfast, and take them to school. During the other times I work two jobs, so sometimes I am not home to help. We’re both there to parent on the weekends, and Alexis will be the ﬁrst to tell you I spend plenty of time with our children. Does this sound familiar to any of you and your schedule? Moms and dads pitch in however they can, when they can to make a household run. Bottom line: It’s called teamwork, and that’s what marriage and child rearing are all about.
I guess my point is, a simple scene can give viewers the impression that Alexis does everything with the kids and Jim does nothing. That’s simply not true. This week I am actually going to defend people on reality TV because many times I feel they are unfairly judged for a “BAD WEEK” and not on what the viewers’ opinion of their overall character is. If you have always seen and known someone to be fair and reasonable, decent, and usually a force for good, GO WITH YOUR GUT and decide what is still true about them based on what you know, not on what you see in simple scenes.
Shouldn’t we practice basic non-judgment like this in life ALL the time? Too many times we unfairly judge someone who has wronged us, or who we perceive as being in the wrong based on one piece of information we have, rather than trying to ﬁnd out what else might be going on. To take it a step further, we could try and ﬁnd out why they are hurting. Why? Because it is usually when someone is in a great deal of pain that they strike out the hardest and with the least amount of empathy for anyone else around them.
Believe me, I know a lot about hurting, and I have been very tempted to blast particular cast members. But I promise you, if you will just try to look at the underlying reason someone tries to hurt you instead of letting your natural defense mechanism go to work, you will ﬁnd much more peace for yourself. Through understanding the BIG PICTURE instead of a small piece of the puzzle, the anger and frustration that comes along with living in half-truths simply goes away.
I challenge you to watch any of the episodes a second time and really look at the eyes of every cast member (be sure to have a pen and paper.) Focus on the eyes of each person and write down the emotion you sense that person is going through in their life—don’t judge based on what you know about the person, or what you think you know—just look at their expression and try to read the story being told by their eyes. When you are ﬁnished with this exercise, look at your paper and analyze what you have written. I guarantee you, the emotion you wrote down for each individual will be very different from what your perception of his or her overall week on the show was before.
In my opinion, it’s the people who talk about others the most who suffer the most—not those who are being are talked about. Do you really think that when a particular cast member is ﬁnished ﬁlming a scene where they have said something bad or negative about someone else they feel good? I can tell you first hand, no. I don’t claim to have never done this, I just try to be conscious of it, and make an effort not to. Although gossip is popular and good for TV, it is rather immature.
But aren’t we all guilty of negative speech? If you look at the BIG PICTURE again, I think you’ll see that when we gossip, we ultimately hurt ourselves, and we are the ones who look insecure, not those we gossip about.
I leave you with this: If someone in your life has a bad week and reacts harshly toward you, instead of judging them for what you think caused that kind of week for them, try to ﬁnd out what is going on with them and be compassionate—it will be far more rewarding, and may even bring you closer.
Just trying to keep it real,